U health care available soon in south valley

By Lana Groves, Asst. News Editor

University Health Care recently announced plans to construct a new facility to offer care to patients living in the southwest part of the Salt Lake Valley.

The 150,000-square foot facility, which is being funded by Rio Tinto Kennecott Land, will be located near a future Utah Transit Authority TRAX stop at 11400 S. 5000 West.

“A new freeway and TRAX stop both border the property,” said Rob Lloyd, executive director for ambulatory services and community clinics at the U Hospital. “This will bring so many people to that area and will be very convenient to everyone.”

Lloyd said the U will use about 15 of the 50 acres Kennecott Land has available for the first phase of the health care project.

The first phase will be situated in the middle of South Jordan’s multi-use community development of single-family houses, town homes, apartments, retail and office space.

South Jordan City Manager John Geilmann said the new development will house around 60,000 people when complete, which is more than South Jordan’s current population of about 53,000.

“It will provide specialty health care that is different from the two other hospitals close by,” Geilmann said. “This will really help because the whole southwest valley in the next 20 years will just boom.”

The new facility will include primary care, radiology, pharmacy and vision care services, as well as a helicopter for life flight. The U expects to break ground on the new building in spring 2009 and open in mid-2010.

The U also has plans to build a fully functional hospital on the remaining 35 acres in the next five years.

“A second building is farther down the road,” Lloyd said. “Right now, we don’t have a specific time frame.”

Lloyd said U Health Care was originally looking at another plot of land when Kennecott Land approached them with more acreage.

“That was a great motivator,” Lloyd said. “It gives us a chance to think more of long-term instead of just a one-time university health center.”

Chris Nelson, spokesman for U health science, said Kennecott Land will lease the building to the U for about $3 million to $7 million every year, which the U expects to make up in operations revenue.

Besides the South Jordan facility, the U has 10 health care centers throughout the Salt Lake Valley.

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